Kotoni Staggs at Broncos Training .Pic Annette Dew
Kotoni Staggs at Broncos Training .Pic Annette Dew

Saint, Sinner, Shoosh: Another star wants out of Broncos

The Brisbane Broncos are about to be rocked by news that another of their boom players wants out.

Centre Kotoni Staggs is under contract until the end of next season but can negotiate and sign with rival clubs from November.

Staggs is regarded by many as a future Blues State of Origin and Kangaroos star.

Kayo is your ticket to the 2020 NRL Telstra Premiership. Watch every game Live & On-Demand with no-ad breaks during play. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Could Kotoni Staggs make the move out of Brisbane?
Could Kotoni Staggs make the move out of Brisbane?

 

Somehow he has managed to stand out at the Broncos playing outside of struggling halves.

No doubt every club in the game with any salary cap space will be interested.

The fact he wants to look elsewhere puts more pressure on struggling coach Anthony Seibold.

The club can't just sit back and allow the likes of David Fifita and Staggs to go. They are their two best players.

Staggs' situation is similar to Fifita, whose negotiations with the Titans were stalled by a dispute with his manager. There's talk Staggs wants to find a new agent as well.

 

MARY LIVING ON BORROWED TIME

Paul McGregor's days as St George-Illawarra coach are numbered.

Losses to the Roosters, Rabbitohs and Sharks in three weeks have convinced Dragons powerbrokers they will have to look elsewhere.

The same people who stuck by him earlier this season now realise his time's up. It's now a matter of identifying the right replacement.

Paul McGregor could be heading out the door sooner rather than later.
Paul McGregor could be heading out the door sooner rather than later.

McGregor's poor relationship with key players is the biggest problem in that he has all but lost the dressing room.

Boom centre Zac Lomax did an interview during the week about his slashing recent form. He acknowledged his three assistant coaches - Shane Flanagan, James Shepherd and Dean Young - but not McGregor.

The players also can't understand why there have been so many positional changes.

The million-dollar man Ben Hunt has gone from halfback, to hooker, back to halfback and then to five-eighth in the past month.

The Dragons would have to win six of their last seven games to make the top eight.

They have the Eels, Storm, Raiders and Knights in the run home.

Check out all the latest NRL chatter and more in Australia's hottest sport gossip column.

 

SAINTS

Roosters stalwart Mitch Aubusson (300 games) and Tigers stars Chris Lawrence (250) and Benji Marshall (250) celebrated proud NRL milestones in round 13. All three have been wonderful ambassadors and role models, along with Manly coach Dessie Hasler (400 games). A great man and great character.

Wayne Bennett put the entire NRL at risk.
Wayne Bennett put the entire NRL at risk.

SINNER

Wayne Bennett is the greatest hypocrite of all. He declared players should retire if they can't cope with the NRL's strict COVID-19 bio-security rules.

"It's just the lifestyle we have to live right now," he said.

"It's a choice we all make. If we don't want that choice, we can just retire from football and go and do something else."

Then he goes out and breaks the rules himself, putting the entire NRL at risk.

 

SHOOSH

Which NRL club covered up a behaviour issue and stood down a star player with a fake injury to keep the media off the trail.

 

SHOOSH II

Which highly paid Wests Tigers star is coach Michael Maguire shopping around to UK Super League clubs to ease salary cap pressure.

The Cowboys are favourites to land Alex Johnston.
The Cowboys are favourites to land Alex Johnston.

SHOOSH III

Unwanted Rabbitohs utility Alex Johnston has been swamped with offers for 2021. We're hearing the Cowboys are favourites.

 

SHOOSH IV

Lots of people are asking why the very capable Anthony Griffin keeps missing out on coaching jobs. He left Penrith Panthers in great long-term shape for Ivan Cleary after being inexplicably sacked while the team was running fourth on the ladder in 2018.

 

SPOTTED

A BMW 7-series, worth about $150,000, with number plates 01 NRL on Sydney's northern beaches. We checked around but no one could tell us who owns it.

 

SPOTTED II

A slimmed down ex-billionaire and former Newcastle Knights owner Nathan Tinkler at Dicks Hotel in Balmain on Thursday.

 

SPOTTED III

Retired cricketer Shane Watson and wife Lee power walking in Bellevue Hill on Friday. And another handy old player, Michael Clarke, with new partner Pip Edwards walking in Vaucluse.

Cameron Smith and Ryan Papenhuyzen enjoy some time at a cafe.
Cameron Smith and Ryan Papenhuyzen enjoy some time at a cafe.

SPOTTED IV

Storm stars Cameron Smith and Ryan Papenhuyzen at a Sunshine Coast cafe. This is not a breach of NRL bio-security rules as they are in Queensland and well away from any COVID hot spots. The same applies to the Warriors on the Central Coast.

 

PAGE QUITS TRUST ROLE

Harvey Norman chief executive Katie Page has quit the Sydney Cricket and Sports Ground Trust to concentrate on her business in the most difficult times for all retailers.

She will be a huge loss.

The good news is that the state government has found a great replacement - former rugby league boss John Quayle.

Quayle has been out of rugby league for two decades but has worked in various senior stadium management roles.

He has also been mentioned as a likely candidate for the NRL's independent commission if it ever gets around to adding new directors.

Jeff Fenech is about to receive the ultimate honour.
Jeff Fenech is about to receive the ultimate honour.

FENECH'S ALL-TIME BEST VICTORY

The WBC has honoured Jeff Fenech by naming our boxing legend among the top 12 fighters of all time, alongside ring superstars Floyd Mayweather, Roberto Duran, Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya.

The 12 legends will go to Las Vegas to vote on the all-time top 100 fights for a TV series in the US.

"I'm so proud," he said.

"Normally journalists and commentators pick these sort of lists. To sit alongside these legends is an unbelievable honour."

 

TIM'S MANY TALENTS

Boxer Tim Tszyu is a handy basketballer. He is on the Gold Coast preparing for the blockbuster fight against Jeff Horn on August 26 in Townsville and was spotted at Time Zone in Surfers Paradise with his promoter, Matt Rose.

"He smashed the record on the machine we were playing," Rose said.

"I've been around football players all my life but I've never seen an athlete like this guy."

It’s not just boxing where Tim Tszyu excels.
It’s not just boxing where Tim Tszyu excels.

GREEN FACED THE AXE

No wonder veteran five-eighth Blake Green was so desperate to pack up and leave the New Zealand Warriors to play out the remainder of the season at the Newcastle Knights.

Despite a shortage of players at the Warriors, Green was told he would not be chosen in the starting side for the final month of the premiership to give the club the opportunity to look at rookie halfback Chanel Harris-Tavita in the halves alongside Kodi Nikorima.

 

PEN TO PAPER

The Sydney Roosters have signed a 25-year contract to play home games at the new 45-000-seat Allianz Stadium at Moore Park from 2022 onwards.

There is still no word on plans for the South Sydney Rabbitohs, who are reluctant to share the venue with their arch rivals because most of their members now live in Sydney's western suburbs.

 

REF'S BORDER HOP

The NRL had to fly four referees into Queensland on Saturday to beat the border closure.

Peter Gough, Henry Perenara, Ashley Klein and Gavin Badger flew in for the Bulldogs' match against the Storm on the Sunshine Coast.

Klein and Perenara had to work out of a bunker. They were granted exemptions as they've been in the NRL bubble. Usual bunker staff Ben Galea, Steve Chiddy, Jared Maxwell and Steve Clark couldn't get in.

 

Originally published as Saint, Sinner, Shoosh: Another star wants out of Broncos


New doctor’s warm reception in Collinsville

Premium Content New doctor’s warm reception in Collinsville

After years of recruitment campaigns, the town has scored a second permanent...

Longstanding video store set to close its doors

Premium Content Longstanding video store set to close its doors

After 18 years, Bowen’s Movie HQ owner is preparing to start a new chapter.

Police warning after train crossing crash near Proserpine

Premium Content Police warning after train crossing crash near Proserpine

More details revealed about two-vehicle crash on Bruce Highway.